GUIDE: Successful vegetable gardening involves far more than just popping a few seeds into the ground and waiting for a tomato to appear. Now I’d like to give you some gardeners’ tips for a successful natural vegetable garden with three steps as Planning your garden, Preparing the soil, and then... Planting your vegetables!
Step I: Planning Your Vegetable Garden
Step II: Preparing the Soil
Step III: Planting Vegetables
Using your garden layout map which you created in the planning stages, use stakes to mark out where different rows will be planted. Build your trellises or set in stout stakes for climbing plants such as peas and beans.
Create mounds on which you will put in the vining plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins and melons. Don't forget to establish your pathways early so that you won't be walking across areas which will be planted. You don't want to be compacting the soil which you have worked so hard to fluff up.
You are now ready to sow your seeds, and to put in your vegetable bedding plants. Planting depths and spacing are critical, so don't crowd to many plants into the allotted space or you may end up with spindly plants and no food.
Be sure to place a tag or marker on each row or area so that you will know what to expect will sprout there and when! Water your garden thoroughly the day before you intend to plant.
Step IV: Sowing Vegetable Seeds
Stretch a string between the two stakes you set to mark the row, or use a straight piece of lumber, and use it as a guide to open a 'V' shaped furrow with the corner of your hoe. Set the depth to the recommended requirements on the seed packet.
Tear the corner of the seed package off and use your finger to tap the package lightly as you move down the row, carefully distributing the seeds evenly.
Larger type seeds may be placed individually in the row. You will want to plant extra seeds in each row to allow for failed germination, and for thinning. Cover the seeds with fine soil (no clods or rocks).
Firm the soil over the seeds to insure good moisture contact, and to help retain the moisture in the soil. Water thoroughly using a gentle spray so that you don't disturb or uncover the seeds. Seeds need moisture to germinate, so it is important to keep the soil moist until the seedlings are up.
When the seedlings have emerged and developed their second or third set of true leaves, thin them as needed so that you keep the strongest plants, leaving the remaining ones spaced as directed on the seed package. It is best to thin while the seedlings are still small, so that you aren't disturbing the roots of the plants which will remain.
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Step V: Setting in Vegetable Starts
* Original post: The Garden of Eden for Gardeners